Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

Skip to Main Content
University of Pittsburgh    
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Apr 15, 2021
 
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Library and Information Science, MLIS


Return to School of Computing and Information Return to: School of Computing and Information

MLIS Degree and the Profession

The role of information professionals has changed dramatically as the volume of available information has increased and technology for information search and retrieval has advanced.  In response, the MLIS degree was redesigned in 2019 to offer a new foundational core that features three new courses, numerous electives that allow students to tailor the degree to their career interests, and a newly created Design Methods Sequence that highlights immersive experiential learning.

The new foundational core, based on the culture and values of librarianship and information science, will prepare students to understand the roles both information and data play in society. These courses focus on the lifecycles of data and information, data and information in systems, and the roles of information professionals in communities. The MLIS program, accredited by the ALA through 2020, is responsive to the information marketplace and encourages the development of creativity, professionalism, and a proactive attitude to the needs of various clientele in the library and information service environments.

Upon completion of the Master of Library and Information Science degree, graduates will incorporate the theories, knowledge, skills, ethical foundations, and social responsibilities of the information professions into critical and reflective professional practice for the benefits of individuals and communities. The MLIS degree program integrates library, archival, information, data sciences and data stewardship within the information professions.

Specifically, MLIS graduates will be able to:

Goals for Graduates of the MLIS program

  1. Identify and communicate the ethical and historical foundations and core values of the information professions, data professions, and related disciplines.
  2. Apply the principles of the management of information and organizations to various functions in data and information environments.
  3. Select, plan, implement, and apply information technology using creative, contextualized, and ethical approaches.
  4. Design, plan, implement, evaluate, and advocate for information services that embody a commitment to inclusion and dedication to underrepresented and marginalized users and communities.
  5. Understand and apply research in the library, archival, museum studies, information science, data science, and stewardship, as well as other disciplines.
  6. Develop and advance the contribution of the information professions to society through advocacy, continuing education, and lifelong learning for information professionals and the communities they serve.

Revised and affirmed by the faculty of the Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship in April 2018

Admissions Requirements


The Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship (ICDS) seeks students with diverse educational and career backgrounds. By nature, LIS degrees are multi-disciplinary, and we welcome applicants with a Bachelor’s degree and/or advanced degree from diverse disciplinary backgrounds.

Beyond the criteria and materials previously outlined for application submission, these programs do not require specific coursework for admissions consideration.

Degree Requirements


With the possible exception of six credits of advanced standing, all course work must be completed in residence in the MLIS degree program (i.e., registering while matriculated as an SCI student) at the University of Pittsburgh.

The faculty may approve certain exceptions to the degree requirements outlined in the following sections. Approval for exceptions must be obtained BEFORE enrollment in the course in question and must be documented through the Records Office. See the Advising section of the SCI Catalog  for more details.

The MLIS degree is a 36-credit program that can be completed in three consecutive terms of full-time study or up to four years (twelve terms) of part-time study.

There is a series of mandatory core courses — the remaining courses are tailored to your career goals or chosen area of interest. It is important to plan carefully, in consultation with your faculty advisor, to make the best use of the educational opportunities available.

Students will take the six required courses* for the MLIS degree. Students must earn a B or better in each core course. 

Students should work with their advisors to ensure that they are following the proper course of study.

A thesis is not a requirement of the MLIS degree.

Thematic Areas


Students may elect a focused area of study which follows a more specific distribution of credits.

These thematic areas have been developed in response to needs expressed by the profession. In addition to the core knowledge of the information professions, you’ll gain specific skill sets pertinent to your career goals. We offer six elective thematic areas:  

  • Academic Library Services
  • Archives and Information Science
  • Children and Youth Services
  • Information Technologies
  • Public Library Services
  • School Library Certification Program

The following sections describe the thematic areas; the specific distribution of credits for the individual areas are outlined on the student’s Academic Advisement Report (AAR). For more details regarding this dynamically generated advising tool, see the Advising section of the SCI Catalog .

Students select their focus of study on the application for admission and may change at any time. A form and instructions for changing specializations is available on the School’s Current Students Web site.

Students who do not meet their chosen thematic area’s requirements for graduation will automatically be changed to the general MLIS track and certified for graduation against the general degree requirements.

Academic Library Services


This thematic area is designed to provide you with the theoretical knowledge, contextual understanding, and practical skills to work effectively as a librarian or information professional in a higher education sector that is continually evolving. Our teaching is informed and inspired by personal experience, current research and leading thinking in the field. The courses will equip you for the challenges and demands of planning, managing and delivering resources and services in academic libraries, through the exploration of their historical contexts, current positions, and future directions.

Archives and Information Science


Recordkeeping, from governmental to organizational to personal, is one of the most ancient and essential human and institutional functions. Records are created and maintained for purposes of evidence; accountability; and personal, social and corporate memory. Archives serve a crucial cultural function, providing society with a sense of identity and memory. Records management programs help organizations to be compliant with regulatory agencies, responsible to constituent groups, and effective and efficient in the use of informational resources. Critical to the administration of records is the maintenance of records over long periods of time, traditionally called preservation and now being influenced by discussions concerning digital curation and stewardship.

Our program will give you the skills and knowledge to identify and analyze recordkeeping systems from legal, evidential, historical, and cultural perspectives. Students study in an engaging and intellectually stimulating environment.

Children and Youth Services


SCI acknowledges the changing landscape of children’s and young adult librarianship. Without forgetting our important roots in children’s literature, our school prepares information professionals who can reach out to the child of the 21st century. 

Available to both the on-campus and online MLIS students, this thematic area will give you the practical skills and theoretical knowledge necessary to succeed as an information professional in a wide variety of positions.

Individualized


Available to both the on-campus and online MLIS students, this thematic area will give you the practical skills and theoretical knowledge necessary to succeed as an information professional in a wide variety of positions.

Information Technologies


This thematic area will enable graduates to assess, organize, and manage the various electronic systems that support library services. The faculty will explore the theoretical underpinnings of such systems as well as provide a thorough understanding of their functions. The program will emphasize database design and implementation, information architecture, and information visualization.

Public Library Services


Our teaching is informed and inspired by personal experience, current research and leading thinking in the field. The courses in the Public Libraries thematic area will equip you for the challenges and demands of planning, managing and delivering resources and services through the exploration of their historical contexts, current positions, and future directions.

School Library Certification Program


The School Library Certification Program (SLCP) will allow you to earn both your MLIS degree and your Instructional I teaching certificate in Library Science, K-12, from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. You will gain the critical skills needed through competency-based learning experiences in collaboration with practitioners. You will be prepared to embark upon one of the most challenging and rewarding careers in the Library and Information Sciences field.

Independent and Experiential Learning Opportunities


This program is designed to provide you with both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills for managing and making decisions related to your chosen academic pathway. As part of your course of study, you can gain critical experience through a for-credit Field Experience or you may also register for an Independent Study which affords the opportunity to work on research projects and publications.

Students must have completed a minimum of twelve credit hours in good academic standing in order to register for the Field Experience.

Return to School of Computing and Information Return to: School of Computing and Information



Catalog Navigation